Winter 2015

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Kip Pierson Photography

Caeli Quinn: Climate Rider

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After graduating from Northwestern, Caeli Quinn ’97 took to the world on two wheels, leading bicycle tours through Europe, South America and Asia for the active travel company Backroads. During her time in China, though, Quinn noticed something troubling. She began to see the environmental impact of the country’s transition from a biking culture to an automobile-dependent system. “That was a big part of my motivation to become engaged in conservation and sustainability issues,” she says. After moving to Whitefish, Mont., near Glacier National Park, in 2008, Quinn launched Climate Ride, a nonprofit that uses multiday bike rides through some of America’s most scenic landscapes to raise awareness and support for environmental and active transportation nonprofits. Climate Ride also organizes fundraising hikes through national parks and sponsors independent challenges. Since 2008 more than 1,950 participants have covered more than 536,000 miles for green causes, and the nonprofit has awarded more than $3.1 million in grants to sustainability and bike advocacy organizations. In 2016 Climate Ride is planning 11 events, including a ride from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.